SEGA’s latest wave of Vintage Collection titles have arrived, and they have deservingly been very well received by fans. Initially, the collections were nothing more than single titles released to XBLA and PSN. Nothing more than ports of Genesis and SEGA arcade titles with the same basic menus for each release. Not to say that they weren’t good fun, but there was no real personality to the titles aside from the games themselves. Thankfully, SEGA and developer M2 made the latest Vintage Collections as true “collections” filled with the fun expected from classic SEGA titles. On XBLA, each collection touts three games and features a fully 3D menu with recreations of arcade cabinets and game consoles. Other features include a juke box where every sound and song can be played as well as a bevy of screen settings. This week’s Weekly Five will look ahead to future waves and what we hope to see from future Vintage Collections.
The SG-1000, SEGA’s first consumer console, is often overlooked but for many understandable reasons. For starters, it was only available in Japan, New Zealand and a handful of other European countries that did not include England. Secondly, it was not a major success. It was not a failure, but never a superstar like the Master System was. The library isn’t huge, but that’s what makes it perfect for a Vintage Collection release. Rather than the standard three games like recent collections, an SG-1000 collection could probably feature a dozen or so titles. Notable games I’d like to see in a collection include: Borderline, Safari Hunting (featured in Dynamite Cop 2 as “Tranquilizer Gun”), Congo Bongo, Monaco GP, Pachinko (for the Shenmue fans), Flicky, Wonder Boy and Zaxxon.
Being out of the console business, it would really do SEGA good to bring back the good ol’ days by releasing collections like these that simulate owning a SEGA console, no matter how old it is. It worked for Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection and it’s sure to work for the SG-1000. Make it happen, SEGA!
Alex Kidd Collection
While the Alex Kidd and Co. collection is a great grab bag of SEGA classics, Alex Kidd really deserves his own collection. Having been the precursor to Sonic, Alex had a number of games. Unfortunately, unlike Sonic, Alex’s games are never collected together to show off the series. A future Vintage Collection really needs to feature: Miracle World, The Lost Stars, High Tech World, Enchanted Castle and Shinobi World, with BMX Trial as an unlockable bonus game. If that game count is too high, then perhaps lose Miracle World, as it is already in a Vintage Collection, as well as Enchanted Castle as it is in the Genesis Collection and title the bundle “Alex Kidd Rarities”. Bonus content could include a gallery of rare art and images as well as maybe a developer interview.
Chaotix and Co.
While not the best spin-off in the Sonic franchise, Chaotix deserves a rerelease and the Vintage Collection is the perfect platform. SEGA could go two ways with this. One idea is a collection of Sonic rarities. Include Chaotix alongside SegaSonic the Hedgehog, that little known trackball game featuring Mighty and Ray. Perhaps the third title could be Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car, if only because the 3D menus would do the game great justice by showing off the car itself. Perhaps there could even be an option to simulate riding in it. Another way Chaotix could be presented is a 32X collection. Seeing as how the 32X library is small, and is even smaller when you take out the non-SEGA owned games, a trio of Chaotix, Kolibri and Tempo would be an awesome way to show off the 32X’s graphical power and excellent music.
Like Alex Kidd, the Shinobi franchise appeared in a recent Vintage Collection release. However, unlike Alex Kidd, Shinobi is still an active franchise with Shinobi 3D releasing just last year. So I was surprised when the latest wave of Vintage Collections highlighted Golden Axe and Streets of Rage, but not the Shinobi franchise. Joe needs more love, and a collection containing Shinobi, Shadow Dancer as well as the two Game Gear titles and the Master System’s The Cyber Shinobi would be awesome. Perhaps slip in a little advertising for the latest 3DS version via a retrospective video and developer interviews from then and now.
Phantasy Star Collection
Probably the most likely, and inevitable, Vintage Collection releases would be a Phantasy Star collection. Just looking at XBLA, only Phantasy Star II is available on the service. So a collection containing the first Phantasy Star from the Master System as well as the third and fourth titles from the Genesis would round out the series. Heck, toss in the second game for the sake of completion and treat the first in the series as a special bonus game. I think Phantasy Star would really benefit from an image gallery, given the scope of the series and all the imaginative artwork. Again, a developer interview would be awesome. Hopefully some of the series creators are still up for sharing some memories.
Some may note that I failed to mention SEGA CD, Saturn and Dreamcast titles in this list, but I did for a good reason: I don’t think games from those consoles would appear in the Vintage Collection. The SEGA CD games that I can think of deserving rereleases would surely be made as standalone titles, like Sonic CD was. Saturn and Dreamcast titles for the same reasons. But I would love to see SEGA give the lesser known consoles, like the 32X, Master System and SG-1000, some well deserved collections. What sort of games would you want to see in future Vintage Collections?